Paraty was founded approximately in the1500’s. The first settlement was on the Fort Hill, where a chapel dedicatel to st. Roque was built. Around 1640 the prosperous settlement was transferred downhill to its present location and in 1660 the local inhabitans declared their independence from the near by village of Angra dos Reis. Paraty was there after recognized as a village.
Its greatest urban development took place during the 17th and 18 centuries, due to the trail opened through the mountain range linking the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro during the so-called Gold Cycle. The port of Paraty was then the second most important among all others in Brazil, mainly because of its strategic location.
Paraty was made County in 1813 and 1844 it became a City.
It was considered a State Historical Monument in 1945 and named National Historical and Artistic Monument in 1958. In 1966 a federal decree classified the town as a National Historical Monument.
In the 80’with the opening of a new federal road along the seacost (Rio/Santos) Paraty regained its prosperity after almost 50 years of economic inactivity. It was the beginning os a new cycle, Tourism, on account of its preserved architectural ensemble, tropical forests, 65 islands and its more than 300 beaches as well.
MOTHER CHURCH NOSSA SENHORA DOS REMEDIOS
The first building, dating back to 1646, was demolished and rebuilt in a bigger size in 1712, which on its turn was again demolished and rebuilt from 1787 to 1873. In neoclassical style, Mother Church of Our Lady of the Remedios stands out due to its huge proportions - as matter of fact the biggest and tallest building in Paraty.
SANTA RITA CHURCH
Built in 1722 by free “mulatos”, this church of typical Jesuitic architecture shows characteristic elements of Brazilian Baroque, especially in regard to the colored wood engraving of the high altar. The Sacred Art Museum, located right behing the church. Santa Rita Church is located beside the former Patitiba Fortress and police headquarters, today Paraty Tourism and Cultural Bureau.
NOSSA SENHORA DO ROSÁRIO CHURCH
Also dedicated to St. Benedict, this church was built in 1725 by black slaves. In the altar dedicated to St. Benedict we can enjoy the best and most important wood carving work among all other churches in town. Elegant, discreet, charming, this church is located at the Rosario Square, in front of Paraty City Hall.
NOSSA SENHORA DAS DORES CHURCH
Built by religious and rich ladies in 1800 it is also dedicated to the Saint os the Passion. Laced balcony details should be observed in the church inteior. Its located at the Fresca Street, in front of Paraty bay.
“DEFENSOR PERPÉTUO “FORT
Located on the so-called Fort Hill it was built in 1703. Is was namend “Defensor Perpétuo (Everlasting Defender) in honour to D. Pedro I, Emperador of Brazil. To be seen: the cells, cannons, terrepleins and the powder storehouse - as matter of fact one of the few powder storehouses among all brazilian forts. It is used today by the center of Art and Popular Traditions of Paraty.